You know what I love about living in a big city like New York? There’s always something new or old to see. I had the pleasure to see something old, gothic, and quite beautiful, The National Art Club for my dear friend, Carol Fabricatore’s opening in The Trask Gallery.
I could feel the history as soon as I walked into the building, and was glad to be sportin my favorite Dries Van Noten jacket which are required to enter. Martin Scorcese, Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Robert Redford and Uma Thurman are some of the clubs most recent members. The Club’s Membership has also included three presidents, and some of the most important artists and arts patrons in America. Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Dwight D. Eisenhower were all members of the National Arts Club. Among the distinguished painters who have been Members are Robert Henri, Frederic Remington, William Merritt Chase and Cecilia Beaux. Sculptors have included Saint-Gaudens, Daniel Chester French, Anna Hyatt Huntington and Paul Manship.
With five words I summed up my impressions of the exhibit, “You Took My Breath Away!” The work showcases Carol’s technical savvy with the use of a wide range of mediums. My favorites were The two sumi ink drawings entitled the “Bather” and “The Keeper” available for only $400 each. I highly recommend that you take a step out of your busy schedules and into the beautiful world of “Kykuit, My Secret Garden!”
Kykuit, My Secret Garden
June 11 – 28
Opening Reception: Tuesday, June 11, 6PM to 8PM
The mission of the National Arts Club is to stimulate, foster and promote public interest in the arts and educate the American people in the fine arts.
The National Arts Club was founded in 1898 by Charles de Kay, the literary and art critic for The New York Times for 18 years. He and a group of distinguished artists and patrons conceived of a gathering place for artists, patrons and audiences in all the arts. American art at the turn of the century had begun to look inward for inspiration, rather than to Europe, and the American art world was alive with energy. As The National Arts Club moved into its first home in a townhouse on 34th Street, American art had found a new home.
The National Arts Club is located in the historic Tilden Mansion. 15 Gramercy Park was built in the 1840’s and its original flat-front, iron-grilled appearance matched the style of the houses still maintained on the west side of Gramercy Park. Samuel Tilden acquired 15 Gramercy Park in the 1860’s, and in the 1870’s gave the house a massive overhaul.
Tilden hired Calvert Vaux, a famed architect and one of the designers of Central Park to “victorianize” the facade with sandstone, bay windows and Gothic Ornamentation. John LaFarge created stained glass ceilings for the inside of the mansion, and Italian wood carvers made the fireplaces. Glass master Donald MacDonald wrought a unique stained glass dome for the building. All of this prompted architect Philip Johnson to call the mansion, “among the most beautiful in New York.” Spencer Trask and the Board of Governors acquired the Tilden Mansion in 1906 as the new home for the National Arts Club.
The National Art Club
Monday to Friday 10:00 to 6:00 pm (unless there’s an opening & then they are open until 9:00 pm)
Saturday & Sunday noon to 5:00 pm
Best to call ahead to ensure the galleries are open. (212) 475-3424